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Employee Engagement: 4 Engagement Hacks for the Innovative Manager

Employee Engagement: 4 Engagement Hacks for the Innovative Manager


    (Editor’s Note: This is the second in a two-part series on employee engagement.)

    Now let’s discuss some options for increasing the level of positive engagement in your work environment.

    Option 1: Leverage Shared Responsibility

    Most agree that employers and employees share responsibility for the factors that create an engaging work environment. In a recent survey conducted by Training magazine and The Ken Blanchard Companies, individual respondents saw it as their primary responsibility to improve the factors of:

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    • Meaningful Work
    • Autonomy
    • Workload Balance
    • Task Variety
    • Collaboration
    • Connectedness with Leader
    • Connectedness with Colleagues

    They saw their managers as primarily responsible for improving the factors of Feedback, Procedural Justice (Fairness), and Performance Expectations, and they saw senior leadership and systems as responsible for Growth and Distributive Justice.

    It is critical that employees understand where they have the power to control their own destiny, and when they need to speak up if a system is broken and needs to be changed.

    Option 2: Leverage Social Networks

    Social networks help with engagement because they facilitate an employee’s ability to publish content and connect easily with co-workers and managers.  The latest in intranet technology is what I call a super-intranet, which is designed to be a welcoming source of information and support as well as a hub for real-time interaction.

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    A wonderful example of a well-executed super-intranet is NASA’s Spacebook.  Launched in 2009, Spacebook is a professional network that lets NASA people around the world interface with each other through the use of user profiles, forums, groups, and social tagging. Employees have their own pages where they can publish their own status, share files, follow others’ activity, and join communities of interest.  Spacebook aids the discovery of new ideas and approaches and encourages knowledge transfer as shifting demographics threaten NASA’s ranks.

    Option 3: Leverage Your Virtual Teams

    Given the number of virtual employees in most modern organizations, paying special attention to their engagement is essential.  The most effective virtual teams have access to sophisticated collaboration tools so that project work is efficient and seamless, and they use instant messaging, videoconferencing and super-intranets like Spacebook to converse in real time.

    The best virtual teams have also met in person more than once. Because they have had the opportunity to build in-person relationships, they are less likely to experience misunderstandings and breeches of trust.  Engaged virtual teams also know and communicate with their manager well.  Weekly check-ins and occasional visits support the virtual team member’s affiliation with and loyalty to the organization.

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    Option 4: Leverage Customized Career Paths

    Employers are beginning to recognize that one progressive and linear path in which all employees move from Points A to B to C it out of sync with many individuals’ desire for a life cycle-focused career.  For example, many aging Baby Boomers are opting to dial-back and work part-time instead of fully retiring so that they can continue to contribute brainpower while setting aside time for health and family concerns.

    Deloitte believes that long-term employee engagement and retention will result from a new method of career design it calls mass career customization.  Through a combination of climbs, lateral moves, and planned descents, individuals are able to pursue personal and professional goals while remaining tied to the organization.  Although career customization sounds like it would be difficult to implement, it really starts one manager to employee conversation at a time.

    What are your engagement hacks?  What do you do as an individual and as a manager to keep your team energized and committed?

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    (Photo credit:

      Businesswoman Drawing Out Innovation via Shutterstock)

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      Last Updated on February 15, 2019

      How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

      How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

      Does it ever feel like the things you want to accomplish always end up on the back burner? If the answer to that question is “yes,” you’re not alone. Only about 33% of people consistently work toward their goals. In some cases, their goals may seem too lofty to accomplish, or else they aren’t sure how to make a plan for them.

      If you don’t come up with concrete steps to take toward your goals, they’ll remain dreams. There’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer, but being able to turn your dreams into goals you can realize will help you lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

      Luckily, you can realize almost any dream when you harness the right goal-setting methods.

      In this article, I’ll show you how to achieve goals and get closer you success.

      1. Break your dreams down into specific and measurable steps

      We couldn’t talk about goal-setting without mentioning SMART goals.

      SMART goals are specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-related.

      Specific and measurable steps are so important because if we don’t know what our target it, how can we ever hit it?

      Take all those beautiful dreams you have for yourself and make them into things you can actually do. If you want to be an entrepreneur, for example, a step toward realizing your dream might be researching what you’ll need to start your business.

      Find out more tips about utilizing SMART goals here:

      How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

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      2. Have at least one clearly defined goal for every interest and role in your life

      It’s so easy to become complacent or stagnate. We often think that our careers are the only places where we need to set goals, but we aren’t only what we do.

      To make the most of your life, take the approach that you’re always learning and growing in everything you do. Anything worth doing is worth doing well after all.

      Set goals whether you’re sponsoring an activity for your child, taking up guitar lessons or trying to prove your worth at work.

      You’ll notice that this approach forces you to constantly develop new skills. It can also be fulfilling to put more focus and value into all areas of your life— not just the ones related to our careers.

      3. Align your goals with your life’s mission, purpose and passion

      Take the opportunity to do some soul-searching. What is it that you want to do with this precious life of yours?

      Anything that conflicts with your life’s purpose is bound to cause discontent. Staying in a bad relationship, doing a job that goes against your values, or maintaining the status quo just because it’s comfortable are not options for you.

      Thinking about your goals in this way can help you eliminate things in your life that don’t serve you. This frees up mental space that you can use to do the things you care about the most.

      Many of us struggle to find the time to work on our goals, but this strategy enables you to make more time.

      4. Create goals that ignite your spirit and inspire you to take action

      If you can’t be fired up about your goals from the start, they might not be good goals for you.

      The road to success is often tough. You’re going to have times when you might feel tired or discouraged.

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      You need to feel inspired enough that you’ll be able to overcome obstacles as you encounter them.

      If what you’re doing motivates you to be the greatest version of yourself, you’ll be much more resilient.

      5. Write down all your goals in specific, measurable detail

      This is your road map for what success will look like. The more you define what you want the finished product to be, the greater the chance that you’ll reach that vision.

      When you write down your goals, you’re creating a document that you can revisit to make sure you’re on track.

      When you’re in the middle of trying to achieve a big goal, it can be hard to see what’s working for you. The things you write in this step will help you stay on-message as you take your goals out of your mind and into the real world.

      Don’t just write down your goals and stash them away in a folder somewhere. Take the extra step to put them somewhere where you’ll see them.[1]

      If you have too many goals to post on your desk, write a summary or choose one or two steps to work on for the day. Just seeing them will keep them in the front of your mind.

      6. Commit to hitting each of your targets without exception

      You wouldn’t have created the target if you didn’t think it was necessary. Hold yourself accountable for taking the steps to succeed.

      You can always adapt your strategy or break your targets into smaller steps if you find that they aren’t attainable as you originally wrote them.

      Hitting even the smallest target is cause for a celebration. It’s a step in the positive direction. Your success will make you crave more success.

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      We often make excuses when we get tired or overwhelmed. Take away the option to make excuses. You will only be satisfied with the best effort from yourself.

      7. Share your goals with others to motivate each other

      There’s something so powerful about people sharing their goals and dreams with one another. Doing so gives voice to some part of us that could remain hidden (and therefore never be accomplished).

      When other people know about your goals, they can cheer you on and hold you accountable. When people share their vision with you, you can do the same for them.

      This strategy is particularly beneficial when you’re trying to develop healthy habits. Post about your workout on social media, or do a healthy eating challenge with your best friend. You’ll be less likely to slack when temptation arises, and you’ll probably encourage someone else to reach for their goals too.

      8. Set a series of daily, weekly and long-term goals, complete with starting times and deadlines

      Many goals never reach realization simply because the goal-setter doesn’t check their progress. People tend to forget what they set out to do, or their goal gets crowded out by other obligations.

      Forcing yourself to revisit your goals at regular intervals breaks them into smaller steps and it reminds you to think about them.

      Giving yourself regular deadlines for smaller tasks related to your goals also helps you reflect on your strategy. You’ll figure out what works for you, whether your timeline is realistic, and whether or not you need additional help to stay on track.

      In addition, celebrating small wins helps you stay motivated. Here’s how:

      How To Celebrate Small Wins To Achieve Big Goals

      9. Take 10 minutes every day to imagine how great it will feel to achieve your goals

      Visualization is such a powerful tool. Some of the most successful athletes, celebrities and business people take time each day to think about how success looks and feels for them.[2] Imagining that feeling of satisfaction can be a great motivator.

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      When you do meet your goals, take some time to be grateful. Thank yourself for showing up and doing the work. Be grateful when the stars align properly to help you advance to the next step.

      It’s not just getting to the destination of your goals that matters. How you take the journey is important too.

      10. Take an action step toward reaching your goals every day

      Your goals can easily get buried in the hustle and the bustle. Even the smallest step in the right direction is still moving you forward.

      Keep chipping away at the work every day and before long, you’ll start to see those dreams come to life.

      Maybe you didn’t start your business today but you designed the logo that’s going to go on your website and business cards. Doing that task well is going to help you so much in the long run.

      Concrete actions day by day draw your dreams out of obscurity and into the realm of possibility.

      The Bottom Line

      Dreams can inspire and overwhelm us. By turning our dreams into goals that we can work toward, we increase our chances of success. Things that once seemed impossible are suddenly within reach.

      It’s time to start turning your dreams into goals and your goals into realities. Change begins today.

      More Resources About Setting & Achieving Goals

      Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

      Reference

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